Marine National Parks
Had Chao Mai National Park
Click here to view the map
The coast line of Trang province extends for over 120 km and has historically been inhabited by fishermen. Beaches of fine sand and clear water, and coastal forest dominate the coast. Sea mammal called "Dugong" which can be seen here is one of the several protected animals in Thailand.
Had Chao Mai covers 231 square kilometers, and was declared as a marine national park in 1981.
The park's terrestrial zone covers mangrove forests inland to the top of the mountains, many forested islands such as Koh Muk, Koh Kradan, Koh Wan, Koh Chueak, Koh Pling, Koh Chao Mai and Koh Meng. These areas are rish in evergreen forest, mangrove forest, beach forest and limestone forest.
Aquatic zone consists of nearly 60% of the park. Special features are coral reefs (mostly found in sheltered spots around islands), sea grass beds (found near the shores) which are important feeding grounds for fish, prawns and dugongs.
December to April is the tourist season. This is the cool season with little rain and clear skies most of the days.
Hot Springs are located in the village of Bor Nam Rawn in Kantang district. The water in the spring is roughly 70ºC and has a strong sulphurous smell.
Chao Mai The road to the headquarters form Pakmeng village is along the beach with scenic view of the Andaman sea and many islands. In the northern part of the park the beaches are very beautiful but dangerous for swimming as the sea has strong currents which can quickly sweep people away. The beaches near headquarters and in the south of the park are just as beautiful and much safer. The road between Pakmeng and headquarters crosses many canals, and is bordered by thick mangrove forest (on the land - eastern side) and on the other side by clean beaches and the sea.
Chao Mai Cave is a large cave in the south of the park, which people can enter by boat from sea. The cave has many levels which are connected to each other by passageways. There are extensive rock formations: stalactites and stalagmites, and pillars stretching from floor to ceiling. In a small chamber at the top level is a very beautiful small spring.
Had Yongling - Had San are beaches in the south of the park. Had Yongling is a very beautiful long white sand beach. It can be reached directly from the parking. To go to Had San beach you have to pass through a cave which connects the two beaches.
Muk island has a very prominent long penninsula on its southern side. The peninsula is where the majority of habitation occurs especially around the village of Had Hua Laem, which is in a sheltered location. Both sides of the peninsula are covered with beaches of soft white sand and clear water. Muk island has a very beautiful cave on the western side. The cave mouth is quite small but can be entered by swimming or canoeing during the low tide. The tunnel stretches for 80 meters to emerge in an open chamber of the cave with emerald color pool. Hence the cave is called "Moragot" (Emerald cave).
Kradan island island is quite hilly with a range of five hills running the length of the island. Kradan is said to be the most beautiful island in the park. The beaches are of most finest white sand, and the water so clear the bottom is visible. Healthy reefs are found on the north side of the island.
Chueak island - Wan island are small islands situated between Muk and Kradan islands and the Trang coast. There are coral reefs around the islands; and Chueak island has a small cave which can be entered by small boat at low tide. The cave is the home to a colony of bats. Both islands have small beaches.
Had Chao Mai headquarters is located on Changlang beach. It is also a scenic location with many limestone cliffs, sandy beaches and clear water. On one of the cliffs near the office are a series of ancient rock paintings. There is also a fresh water spring and a campsite on a grassy area beneath Casurina pines.
Pakmeng Beach is a popular beach in Trang province. It is 40 km from Trang city and is located in a bay surrounded by rugged limestone cliffs some of which form islands at high water level. The island in the centre of the bay looks like a man lying down when viewed from the beach.
How to get there
Leave Trang on the road no. 4046 and head towards Krabi until the 30 km post where turn left onto the road no. 4162. This road will take you to Pakmeng beach where it turns left and run along the beach and coast line for 7 km to the headquarters.
Accommodations and facilities
The park has some bungalows which may be booked in advance.
To go to the islands boats can be hired at Pakmeng village, Changlang beach (the place of headquarters), or Chao Mai village.
Had Chao Mai Marine National Park
P.O.Box 9. Amphur Sikao